The War on Cars Watch is a weekly feature of the NMA blog. The War on Cars Watch focuses on road diets, traffic calming and programs such as Vision Zero and Complete Streets as well as studies, court cases, and other news that affect motorists.
Special commentary from NMA California Member Michael Jabbra is notated with an MJ: designation and all other comments are those of Shelia Dunn, NMA Communications Director and editor/curator of this blog.
We love to hear from you about the War on Cars Watch. Please feel free to comment below the post.
War on Car Watch Stories of the Week
- Congestion kills, so why are politicians making it worse? –Road diets on arterial roads/streets create more congestion and only help a small minority of road users
- Where Do Gas Taxes Go? 31 States Divert Fuel Taxes to other Programs such as Schools, Police, and Fish Barrier Removal
- ‘It’s not America’: 11 million go without a license because of unpaid fines
- Police Breathalyzers
- These Machines (Breathalyzers) Can Put You in Jail. Don’t Trust Them.—well-researched and important story on something police use every day in America!
Here are some additional stories with comments about the NYTimes investigation.
- Startling ‘New York Times’ report details unreliability of breathalyzers
- This Chronicle of Sloppy Alcohol Breath Testing Highlights the Hidden Problems With Supposedly Scientific Forensic Evidence
National War on Car Watch Stories
- SCOTUS Argument preview: Can the police stop a vehicle because its registered owner’s license has been suspended or revoked?
MJ: Drivers, it isn’t a good idea to drive with a suspended or revoked license. That really is asking for attention from the police. However, it’s also true that revoking licenses is a tactic used for punishment for crimes that do not involve driving. State governments can do better than this. Depending on the crime, fines or community service would be two alternatives. Of course, for crimes that do involve driving (such as driving under the influence), suspending or revoking licenses would be appropriate.
- Research: Priced parking is fair and effective at lowering car use (War on Cars Watch)
- Will More States Adopt Privacy Laws in 2020?
- The Appeal Podcast: When Police Officers double as Prosecutors
- Institute of Justice scores win in lawsuit against the IRS over Civil Asset Forfeiture Records
- What Would It Look Like if Cars Could Stop Drunk Driving?–only people can stop drunk driving!
- Knockoff child car seats are infiltrating the market, and they could be deadly – best not to buy child seats online!
International War on Car Watch Stories
- Canada: Penalties for high-risk British Columbian drivers caught breaking the rules just jumped 20 per cent
- Canada: Toronto lawyer pushing province to bring in ‘textalyzers’ to catch texting drivers
Regional and Local War on Car Watch Stories
- San Mateo County, CA Releases Draft Strategic Plan for Spending Sales Tax Revenue: Online comments accepted until November 15th (Complete Streets Watch)
- Berkeley City Council passes items to make streets more pedestrian-friendly (War on Cars Watch)
- Los Angeles City Planners Propose to Eliminate Minimum Parking Requirements for future downtown developments (War on Cars Watch)
- Will Doing Away with Parking Minimums Be Good for Downtown Los Angeles? (War on Cars Watch)
MJ: Yay, Los Angeles. God forbid that someone living downtown might want an assigned parking place within his/her residence for his/her vehicle. Granted that a downtown resident may well be able to walk or take public transit for short trips; however, such a resident might also want a vehicle for longer trips. This seems to be a case of urban planners and lazy developers scheming together – the urban planners for their mindless utopianism that ignores the needs and desires of people other than themselves, and the lazy developers not wanting to spend the extra money and time to include parking in the buildings they construct.
- Vision Non-Zero: the Human and Financial Toll of Los Angeles’ Dangerous Roads (Vision Zero Watch)
- Next San Francisco Road Diet: California Street may lose a lane to bolster safety
District of Columbia
- New Institute for Justice Report: More Georgia Cities Pay a Price for Excessive Ticketing –this happens everywhere! When will local officials understand that policing for profit, taxation by citation or whatever you want to call hurts communities more than it helps.
- War on Cars Watch in Chicago: San Francisco’s Market Street is going car-free. Michigan Avenue should be next.
- Indiana Supreme Court Applies Eighth Amendment to Curb “Oppressive” Asset Forfeitures–Will civil asset forfeiture reform move faster now with this case and the SCOTUS case earlier this year?
- City Releases ‘Go Boston 2030’ Progress Report (War on Cars Watch)
- Boston: Car-Free State Street Is A Possibility In City Reconstruction Project (War on Cars Watch)
- Cambridge: Nearly four-fifths of city’s streets turn 20 mph with installation of 660 signs come November
- West Roxbury, MA residents pushes back at City Hall’s bike lane ‘road diet’—More motorists need to fight back and hopefully before all the taxpayer is spent on making the change to the street!
- Drivers, you’re losing a lane each way in Oakland County road diet
- City of Ann Arbor celebrates opening of first two-way protected bike lane (Just in time for Winter) (War on Cars Watch)
- More speed humps get installed on Detroit’s residential streets (War on Cars Watch)–Traffic calming is actually less safe…it slows a vehicle down at the bump but folks then speed up in-between. These bumps can damage a car even if one is driving at an extremely low speed.
- Duluth, MN police view light-repair vouchers as bright idea – this could help motorists who struggle with fixing their car lights!
- Nebraska State Police use Fingerprinting technology at traffic stops
- Parked in an Omaha, NE bike lane? You’ll pay for it. Proposal would fine drivers, fix loophole
- After Spike in Deaths, New York City to Get 250 Miles of Protected Bike Lanes
- NYC Council Passes Plan To ‘Revolutionize’ City Streets In 2021
- NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s $1.7B car-reduction plan gets green light from Mayor Bill de Blasio
- Despite War on Cars ‘master plan,’ NY city council speaker Corey Johnson won’t give up his SUV
- Opinion: Corey Johnson’s streets master plan is a great first step for a more livable NYC (War on Cars Watch)
MJ: Hypocrisy and politicians go together like peanut butter and jelly.
- NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio slams brakes on DOT’s Fifth Avenue holiday ‘agenda’
- NYC DOT will now Track SUVs involved in Traffic Accidents (Vision Zero Watch) –How many other cities will follow suit?
- Manhattan’s Dyckman protected bike lane is back (War on Cars Watch)
- NYC War on Cars Watch: Bronx’s Fordham Road is the Busway We Need Next
- Congestion pricing has NYC pols scrambling to change parking rules in northern Manhattan–The next battleground in the city that never sleeps!
MJ: Clearly none of these lawmakers are parents. Most parents are eager for their children to learn to drive, even if they are anxious at first. No more shuttling the kids around!
MJ: Another case of greedy public officials using traffic enforcement not for safety, but for grabbing more cash. Shame on that chief for punishing his lieutenant for doing the right thing.
- San Antonio, Texas Road Diet Watch: Zarzamora Street to Become Testing Ground for Transit, Safety Projects
That’s this week’s War on Car Watch blog. If you find a story online about the War on Cars, please feel free to email the URL to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Check out the NMA Facebook Page called the War on Cars Watch
Be Safe Out There,
NMA Communications Director
P.S. Here are a few NMA Blog Posts the might interest you: